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[Xmca-l] Re: Elaborations on Nissen's Could Life Be...



Gee whiz, xmcars! my previous post had a lot of typos and I'm sorry for that! Thinking is faster than writing sometimes.

Huw,

Help me make your connections? I'm not following.

I'm not sure what you've posted has to do with aesthetic experiences, the making of art, and the removal  of these experiences and activities from public life. But I hope you'll let me know.

After posting my thinking about this last night, I remembered how while I was in school, understanding from my own experiences, art was something anyone could learn, like learning history or math or chemistry. Yet it is marginalized even in the school. I don't think I was able to articulate that freely that at the time, because the marginalized artists seem to be the ones who were rewarded for living on the edge, in more ways than one. They would have been wasted words to which no one would have listened.

The pressure to have to take on that cloak of marginalization as a young person can be intense, especially if the narrative is: to be considered any good, you have to shoot heroin and struggle with your addiction in order to make good art. 

What a great and effective way to systematically eradicate all the young artists in a society. Which controls the narrative as "making art is just breaking plates and putting that on a canvas." It's very different in Europe where artists are more valued members of society, and even loved, and there are means of sponsoring them interwoven into the society in different ways. Albeit not without flaws, but it's better than nothing.

In the US there are diminishing contacts with art and aesthetic experiences in public spaces. The incidents for contact go up if you live in places like New York, but typically it's pretty barren. The only access for art is in an iPod or a laptop, or a movie theater, or a book or an art museum. 

All of these are mediated spaces that dictate our choices and how we are to experience them. Consider this recent article by Cory Doctorow: 
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/feb/13/if-dishwashers-were-iphones

Art as a part of everyday experience seems completely absent and diminishes each day. Unless, of course, I want to interpret sitting in commuter traffic as a kind of performance art of modern living. The only other means for aesthetic experiences is to go out in nature, and that can be difficult or at best inconvenient. 

Artists by their natures are sensitive and independent thinkers, likely because of the way they sense to world. That is not to say that the rest of us are insensitive or dependent thinkers, but that they are the first identifiable group of "people like that." If we remove the sensitive types and marginalize them, that is one way to remove some of those independent thinkers from the mainstream, so they do not spread that heretical contagion of independent thinking. 

It seems the next logical target if one were to have an objective to incrementally remove independent thinkers from spreading contagion is the university. So I would invite all of you to examine the narrative of artists in society and their removal or their channeling into "safe spaces" like 30 second videos, 3 minute songs, 30 minute sitcoms, 130 minute movies (because we have to put them somewhere, we can't just kill them). Then please consider if something similar is happening in the spaces of the university and independent thinking. 

I would not at all be surprised to see there are parallels. 

Kind regards,

Annalisa